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In honor of our centennial anniversary, we are featuring members of our optometry community — past and present — each day of 2023!

See below for this week’s profiles.

This Week, We Are Celebrating…

April 3rd

Joy Harewood, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO

Joy Harewood, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO, is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Optometry and completed a residency in ocular disease at the SUNY College of Optometry. She has achieved Fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry and is a Diplomate in the American Board of Optometry. Dr. Harewood has extensive experience in hospital-based eye care and the first was the first fulltime optometrist performing inpatient consults at Northwell Health’s Staten Island University Hospital campus. This is a position she held for 6 years.

Dr. Harewood then worked as a faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at BronxCare Health System. There, she taught optometry and ophthalmology residents in a clinical and didactic setting, and provided direct patient care. She currently serves on the UC Berkeley Council for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB). She was named the inaugural Director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at SUNY College of Optometry in 2020, along with being appointed as an Associate Clinical Professor. She is a leading voice in the push to increase diversity in the optometric field.

April 4th

Ralph S. Minor, PhD, FAAO

Ralph Minor, Professor of Physics, was placed in charge of the inaugural Optometry curriculum in the Department of Physics in 1923. He later became the first Chairman (1939), Director (1941) and Dean (1945) of Berkeley Optometry. Under his leadership the curriculum grew from a limited professional program grafted to the Physics curriculum into an independent department and then School of Optometry. Minor fought tirelessly for the advancement of the professional program, sometimes at the expense of collegial relations with his colleagues in Physics. He shaped the curriculum, replacing upper-division physics courses in favor of more clinical training that would greatly benefit the program in optometry. During Minor’s tenure, Optometry gained in academic prestige, the number of students increased, and a distinguished faculty was recruited and nurtured.

Dr. Minor was born in 1876 in Deposit, New York. He graduated from Hamilton College with a degree in science in 1898. After finishing his PhD in Physics from the University of Göttingen, Germany (1902), he came to Berkeley in 1903 as an Instructor in Physics, remaining there until accepting an appointment as Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Nevada at Reno in 1906. After three years, rising to Associate Professor and Professor at Nevada, he returned to UC Berkeley in 1909 as Associate Professor of Physics in charge of the lower division.

Minor also began negotiations with the University in 1938, after the war, a building was found in 1948 and it was later rededicated as Ralph S. Minor Hall in 1970. Alumni granted Dr. Minor an Honorary Life Membership in 1938 and he is an Honorary Life Member of the American Academy of Optometry.

April 5th

Saya Hayashi, OD

Dr. Saya Hayashi is a current resident for Ocular Disease at the Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science. She received her optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry in 2022. Dr. Hayashi is from Oahu, Hawaii and outside the clinic, enjoys spending time going to the beach, visiting national parks, and photography.

April 6th

Emily Gorski

Dr. Gorski is Associate Clinical Professor at Berkeley Optometry, and Chief of the Vision Functions Clinic. The Vision Functions and Electrophysiology Clinic is at the forefront where vision science and clinical knowledge meet. It is one of the primary referral centers in Northern California for specialized vision testing. Performing non-invasive tests which typically can not be found in general eye care practices. Dr. Gorski was a Low Vision Resident at Berkeley Optometry in 2017, working with Dr. Marlena Chu.

April 7th

Billie Beckwith-Cohen, PhD

Dr. Beckwith-Cohen is a vision science grad (’21), and current comparative
ophthalmology resident at Michigan State University. Her academic path has been an unusual one: not too many people receive a PhD from Berkeley’s School of Optometry and Vision Science after already having received a doctorate in veterinary medicine, which she completed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As both a clinician and a researcher, her work is located under the broad umbrella of “comparative ophthalmology,” which she defines as “the ability to examine, evaluate, and potentially treat all species but one: humans.”

Throughout the United States there are fewer than 500 board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists. An even smaller subset of that number have both a PhD in vision science and a degree in veterinary medicine. Read more about Dr. Beckwith-Cohe’s work in the 2022 edition of the Berkeley Optometry Magazine.

2022 Magazine
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